What is Dual Diagnosis

When someone is struggling with emotional issues and stress but doesn’t have any access to help, either in the form of medicine or therapy/counseling, he or she is at risk of relying on drugs or alcohol to numb the feelings. The use of these drugs and alcohol then worsens symptoms of depression, anxiety, stress, and other conditions. The person continues to use more and more drugs or alcohol, and this vicious cycle continues.

Therefore, it is very common that people with alcohol or drug problems have symptoms of underlying depression, anxiety, stress, or other mental health conditions. To help people suffering from both mental health symptoms and drug or alcohol problems, the whole situation should be viewed as one condition, which is commonly called “dual diagnosis.” Likewise, the treatments of the mental health symptoms and the drug or alcohol problems must be combined as an integrated treatment.

If a dual diagnosis is established in our assessment of a patient, we start psychiatric medication and mental health therapy in combination with outpatient, medication-assisted detox for opioids and other drugs (we refer the patient to inpatient detox if necessary). Following the detox, we implement a combination of various relapse prevention medicines, intensive outpatient group therapy (called IOP), individualized counseling, and case management.

Contact Us

Get In Touch

Psychiatry Specialties Clinics

3525 Ellicott Mills drive Suite G, Ellicott City MD 21043